Icon (2009)

Egg tempera on gesso-prepared wood panel.

A friend just emailed me this, I haven’t seen it in years. It’s from an icon painting retreat I did in 2009 at the Poor Clares convent in Arundel. Our teacher, a little Chinese nun, taught us how to make up our paints from egg yolks and powdered natural pigments. It was all wonderfully medieval. No idea where the icon is now. If anyone knows, please get in touch.

‘Advent Candles (after Richter)’ (2016)


Acrylic on canvas.  12 x 16 inches.

In 1982/83 Gerhard Richter painted a beautiful series of canvases (the Kerzen series) featuring white candles against stark green backgrounds. Painted from photographs and on a monumental scale, his candles were sometimes in holders, sometimes free standing on a white linen tablecloth, but more often than not cropped off at the bottom of the frame. Taking one of Richter’s cropped candles as my starting point, I’ve multiplied it to represent a circular Advent wreath, and tried to depict the order in which the candles are progressively lit on the four Sundays of Advent (violet, violet, rose, violet) with the final white candle lit at Christmas.